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Dog Training: Train A Dog To Stay

Posted by marco

Dog Training Step by Step Techniques - Train A Dog To Stay

After you and your dog have mastered the sit and down commands, the logical extension on them is training your dog to stay.

That is why I like to add the stay command, although some dog trainers think it to be an unnecessary additional command. Their theory being that when they request that their dog sits or goes in to the down position, the dog ought to stay in that position until they are told otherwise. When you give it some thought your sit and down commands are not much value if your dog merely gets in to those positions and then bounces back up straight away.

For those of you pick to make use of the stay command - read on.

Milly "Stay" - Nice Girl
dog training train a dog to stay

dog training train a dog to stayTraining a dog to stay can be difficult at first. In a way it goes against what your dog is used to (following you around) and also his/her natural instincts (being close to their pack). With this in mind keep the stay command very simple to start with and build on your canines successes slowly.

One time you have trained your dog to hold a reliable stay in any situation you will find it handy on plenty of occasions. It is a great behavior to request when visitors come to your home, in the event you need to duck inside a shop or in the event you have a dog who likes to bolt out the front door.

Right let's start - it is a nice suggestion to first train your dog to stay when he/she is calm and not all hyped up - after a walk is a nice time. Your first training session ought to be in a familiar surroundings to your dog, free from any distractions and ought to only last for a couple of minutes.

Training A Dog To Stay - Step by Step

1. Put your dog in to the position you would like him/her to stay in (use your sit, down or stand commands) and stand directly in front of him. After about one or two seconds, if your dog is still in the position you requested, give him some praise and a treat. You are rewarding the behavior you are looking for which is a stay, even if it is only one seconds worth to start with. As soon as you give your praise and treat, the behavior is over (this is your signal for your dog to release from his stay) so it is fine if your dog moves off.
dog training train a dog to stayThen you start the system again from the beginning, this time perhaps hold your praise and treat off for three or four seconds. take it slowly and if your dog breaks out of the stay at any time before you have given him the release command, basically say "aah-aah"! Don't give the treat, but basically start the system again.

2. The next step is to add a verbal command & hand signal to step one. It goes like this - one time again stand directly in front of your dog & place him in the position you would like him to stay in. Now as soon as they is in the desired position say "stay" & simultaneously hold your hand out in front of you, together with your palm facing out towards your dog's nose (like a cease sign motion).

Now after waiting a second or praise & reward your dog for staying in this position (sit-stay or down-stay etc.). As was the case in step one you can now repeat this technique over & over, gradually increasing the time between your "stay" command & your praise & treat. What you are doing is building an association in your dog's mind between your verbal "stay" command & the act of staying in the spot.

3. You have now got the stay command sorted - in it is most basic form anyway.

dog training train a dog to stayIt is now time to add some other variables & build on it. Plenty of trainers label this proofing stage as the D's - Period, Distance & Distractions. Up until now (in steps one & two) you have been working in a familiar surroundings free from distractions & you have been standing right in front of your dog. Let's mix it up a small, adding new variable at a time.

The next challenge you can add to the stay command is to move your training session to a different location, possibly somewhere with a few distractions such as other people or animals. Keep in mind take it slowly & only add new variable at a time. Another lovely idea is to practice your stays anytime throughout the day. For example make your dog "stay" when you go out to collect the mail or "stay" when you are preparing his dinner.

Start out by issuing your "stay" command together with your hand signal, now take a step backwards, pause, then step back towards your dog. If your dog has remained in his sit-stay or down-stay, praise him & give him a tasty treat. Continue to repeat this technique, gradually increasing the amount of steps you take back - always keep in mind to return back to your dog before you reward him. Keep in mind what it is you are actually rewarding him for (the stay) & if they gets up to move away they should not be receiving a reward or treat.
dog training train a dog to stay
Here's another lovely article which shows you how to shape a reliable stay behavior - Stay command using clicker training methods

A game you can play together with your dog to reinforce the "stay" command is hide & seek. This game is heaps of fun & all you do is place your dog in a down-stay then run off & hide. When you are prepared, sing out your release command & your dog will set off to track you down.

Note: When training a dog to stay do not keep your dog in a sit-stay for over two or three minutes. In the event you need your dog to stay for longer periods use the down-stay. This could be simple but it is considered the best dog training method as it comes to train a dog to stay.

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